Battle Rages at Gadhafi Compound

Tanks roll out of Gadhafi compound, his whereabouts unknown
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 22, 2011 1:40 AM CDT
Battle Rages at Gadhafi Compound
Rebels in Tajura, a suburb of Tripoli, celebrate early today after their compatriots seized large sections of Tripoli.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Automatic gunfire and explosions could be heard early today as tanks rolled out of Moammar Gadhafi's complex in Tripoli and troops loyal to the Libyan strongman continued a last-ditch battle against rebels. Gadhafi's troops remain a threat to rebels who surged into the city yesterday, and "danger is still there," rebel spokesman Mohammed Abdel-Rahman told AP. Earlier, rebels were waving flags and shooting into the air to celebrate their takeover of Tripoli's central Green Square. The war seemed all but over, and President Obama has called on Gadhafi to "relinquish power once and for all." But Gadhafi has not surrendered and his whereabouts are unknown.

Gadhafi called on supporters to "kill the rats" in a series of desperate audio messages on state TV last night. Though much of Gadhafi's security and palace guard has reportedly surrendered, forces loyal to him still control some 20% of the city, a rebel leader has told Al-Jazeera. The International Criminal Court issued arrest warrants for Gadhafi, his son Saif al-Islam, and the head of Libya's intelligence service for crimes against humanity, reports the BBC. Gadhafi's eldest son has surrendered and Saif al-Islam was captured, according to reports. (Read more Moammar Gadhafi stories.)

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